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Candace Parker not in 2017-2020 USA Basketball national team pool

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Candace Parker was not among 29 players named to the U.S. national basketball team player pool announced Thursday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s out of 2020 Olympic contention.

Players can be added or dropped from the national team pool between now and 2020.

USA Basketball director Carol Callan was asked Thursday if Parker, who was upset at being left off the Rio Olympic team, declined an invitation and what her situation is the next four years.

“We generally don’t talk about players that aren’t here because there’s a variety of reasons why they’re not. She’s one of them,” Callan responded. “We choose not to try to speak for them. So, I would simply suggest that you ask her. Candace has been an important part of our program over the years. We talked previously about the decision when she didn’t make the Olympic roster. I just think she’s better suited to say that. I don’t want to speak for her.”

For now, the pool is headlined by four-time Olympic champions Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi, who both recommitted to USA Basketball this year, one year after saying they believed Rio would be their Olympic farewells.

The pool includes every member of the Rio Olympic team except for the retired Tamika Catchings.

“The list of 29 [includes] players that were in the pool last quad from 2013-16 who want to continue,” Callan said, not mentioning Parker, who was in the pool in the last Olympic cycle.

It would not be a surprise if Parker never suits up for Team USA again after being left off the Rio roster.

The 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medalist said in May that she didn’t know if she wanted to go for the Tokyo 2020 team that will be coached by Dawn Staley, who succeeds Geno Auriemma.

Parker was also not among the 30 players who accepted invitations to a September/October national team camp. Five of her Los Angeles Sparks teammates did accept invites but none ended up attending because the team was playing in the WNBA Finals.

Staley will guide a 12-woman roster at the FIBA World Cup in September. Usually, the winner of the World Cup clinches the first Olympic basketball berth. The U.S. won the last two FIBA World Cups in 2010 and 2014.

Parker had said a primary motivation to play in Rio was that her daughter, Lailaa, then 7 years old, would have been able to watch her at the Olympics and remember it.

After missing the Rio team, Parker spoke of being caught off-guard, mad and upset. She would not commit to hypothetically being an injury replacement if one of the 12 named players had to bow out. That situation did not arise.

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U.S. women’s national basketball team player pool
Seimone Augustus
(Minnesota Lynx)
Sue Bird (Seattle Storm)
Tina Charles (New York Liberty)
Layshia Clarendon (Atlanta Dream)
Napheesa Collier (Connecticut)
Elena Delle Donne (Washington Mystics)
Skylar Diggins-Smith (Dallas Wings)
Stefanie Dolson (Chicago Sky)
Asia Durr (Louisville)
Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx)
Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury)
Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream)
Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks)
Jewell Loyd (Seattle Storm)
Kayla McBride (Las Vegas Aces)
Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream)
Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State)
Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx)
Chiney Ogwumike (Connecticut Sun)
Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles Sparks)
Kelsey Plum (Las Vegas Aces)
Katie Lou Samuelson (Connecticut)
Odyssey Sims (Los Angeles Sparks)
Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm)
Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury)
Morgan Tuck (Connecticut Sun)
Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx)
Courtney Williams (Connecticut Sun)
A’ja Wilson (South Carolina)

USA Basketball elects retired Army general to succeed Jerry Colangelo

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been elected chairman of USA Basketball.

Dempsey replaces Jerry Colangelo, who held the position for two terms but will now focus on his role as managing director of the U.S. men’s national team.

Dempsey was elected Monday during a meeting of USA Basketball’s board of directors. His term is 2017-2020.

He retired last year after 41 years in the military, the last four as the senior officer in the Armed Forces and the military adviser to the secretary of defense and the president. He was appointed special adviser to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in January.

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Jerry Colangelo to leave USA Basketball chairman role

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Jerry Colangelo won’t seek a third term as chairman of USA Basketball, instead focusing on his role as managing director of the men’s national team program.

Colangelo said Thursday that he will concentrate on the transition from coach Mike Krzyzewski to Gregg Popovich and building the player pool for the competition cycle through the 2020 Olympics.

He is the only person to serve two terms as chairman. USA Basketball’s board of directors will elect a new chairman at its annual meeting on Nov. 14.

“Given the coaching change and the challenge of assembling a group of players for (the International Basketball Federation’s) new competition schedule, this is a good time to devote my full attention to the men’s national team,” Colangelo said in a news release.

Under changes made by basketball’s governing body, the Americans will have to qualify for the 2019 Basketball World Cup in China over a two-year cycle during 2017-18. The World Cup will then serve as the qualifier for the Tokyo Games.

The Americans won gold again in men’s and women’s basketball in Rio de Janeiro and are 267-6 since Colangelo began overseeing the organization in 2009. The U.S. is also ranked No. 1 in the world at the boys and girls levels.

Colangelo began his role as national team director in 2005 and was elected to his first term as chairman after the American men won the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. The men have won 53 straight games in major international competitions.

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